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Gerald Hodges Interested In Return To Minnesota

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He was traded away in 2015, and is now a free agent.

New York Jets v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The other day when running down some of the remaining free agents that could potentially help the Minnesota Vikings, I mentioned former Vikings’ linebacker Gerald Hodges as a potential fit at linebacker. As it turns out, he sounds like he’s interested in coming back.

In an interview with Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Hodges expressed interest in returning to the place where he started his NFL career.

The free agent wrote in a text message to the Pioneer Press on Monday he has interest in going back to the team that traded him to San Francisco in October 2015.

“Yes,” Hodges wrote. “Definitely wouldn’t mind playing for them! Great organization!!”

(Great organization? Quick, someone get me Riki Ellison on Line 1.)

Hodges was a fourth-round selection of the Vikings in the 2013 NFL Draft out of Penn State. He started ten games for the Vikings during his time with the team, moving between the outside and middle linebacker positions. He was traded to San Francisco in October of 2015 for center Nick Easton and a sixth-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. He’s coming off of his best season, having started 12 games for the Niners and collecting 80 tackles.

As Tomasson points out in his piece, the linebacker corps for the Vikings is getting pretty thin following the retirement of Chad Greenway and the departure of Audie Cole. Hodges could play either the middle linebacker spot between Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr, sending Kendricks to Greenway’s old weakside spot, or he could play on the outside and come off in nickel situations.

There hasn’t been any word of any sort of reciprocal interest on Minnesota’s side, but if the team is looking to shore up the linebacker position, I think they could do a whole lot worse than Hodges.